Help Me, LAPTOP: I Need a Sub-$700 Video Editing Laptop

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If money's no object, it's easy to find a laptop with great performance, portability and build quality. However, if you have a strict budget of $700, it's a little more difficult to find a system that meets your appropriately high expectations.

Help Me, Laptop

Over on our forums, user Shiveng asks for help finding a sub-$700 notebook with a full HD (1080p), a slim chassis and enough performance for video editing and entertainment. Shiveng also names a discrete graphics card and the latest Intel "Kaby Lake" CPUs as nice-to-haves but not absolute requirements.

In the original post, Shiveng says that this outdated Lenovo Ideapad 700, which uses an older 6th-Generation CPU and a mechanical hard drive, seems like a decent deal, because Amazon has it for $609. However, the Ideapad 700 is not only a discontinued model from last year, but it's also a bit bulky and its hard drive is a major drawback. We recommend that consumers buy laptops with Solid State Drives whenever possible, because SSDs boot, launch programs and do anything involving disk activity three times faster than HDDs.

If Shiveng wants an extremely portable and premium design, we strongly recommend the Asus ZenBook UX330UA. This 13.3-inch laptop has an aluminum lid and weighs just 2.7 pounds, but it also has a 1080p screen, a Kaby Lake Core-i5 CPU and a 256GB SSD. It even lasts over 10 hours on a charge. The UX330UA offers performance that's good enough for some video editing, but it doesn't have discrete graphics.

While it's a much-heavier 5.6-pounds and doesn't have the attractive design of the UX330UA, Acer's Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 gives a 15.6-inch, 1080p screen, Nvidia 940MX graphics, a 256GB SSD and an Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U CPU for just $599.

To find a laptop with a discrete GPU and a faster, quad-core CPU for under $700, Shiveng may want to consider an older model that's technically discontinued but still for sale.

Amazon has the 2015 version of the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop for just $669 with a quad-core Core-i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1080p screen and Nvidia GTX 960M graphics. While the laptop has a 6th-Gen processor and a last-gen Nvidia card, getting an equivalent model with current-generation products would be hundreds of dollars more. We really like the Inspiron 15 7000, in both its current and previous generations, because of its attractive design, comfy keyboard and fantastic value.

We'd go for the lighter UX330UA with its 10 hours of battery life, but any of the three laptops we recommended above will give Shiveng performance that's good enough for some video editing, along with a sharp 1080p screen. Most importantly, they all have SSDs.

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Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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3 comments
  • Nicholas Bohn Says:

    Denis, If you're budget allows, you really want to try to get into a GTX1060 6GB card. I just picked up a refurbished 15.6" with one for $1200. The newer Nvidia cards get a lot more performance out of the same power draw, and they really dont cost THAT much more. The 1060 is the sweetspot in price, performance, and portability for me. The 1070 is a better card BY A LOT, but those laptops thend to be a lot thicker and they cost a good chunk more than the 1060 usually. Hope that helps!

  • Nicholas Bohn Says:

    Anyone who's looking for a PC that's portable, and has discrete graphics, and has powerful processing should look at gaming PC's. Asus ROG series is a nice one. MSI also makes a bunch of good options. You're always going to be trying to balance cost-performance-capability. For the price difference, the value between the 6th gen i7-6700 and the i7-7700 isn't worth it. So you're looking for an i7-6700 with a GTX 1050 Ti Graphics card @ the $1k price point, and a GTX 960M at the $700 price point. You likely aren't going to get an SSD at those prices, which would be really nice to have so if you can get one do it! RAM should be around 8gb or so, which should be fine since your graphics card memory is more important. Try to get the 4 or 6gb cards, not the 2 or 3 gb cards.

    Bigger bulkier models will give you more performance per dollar, that'd be the sacrifice I would make. Also don't buy anything with a touchscreen or a 4K monitor, at your price point they're luxuries you can't afford.

  • Denis Says:

    Hi, I`m too looking for a laptop for video editing and photoshop but my budget is little higher. I can`t decide between these three. What would you recommend?
    Lenovo IdeaPad 700-15
    ntel Core i7-6700HQ / 8GB / 1TB+128GB SSD / 15.6" FHD IPS / 4GB nVidia GeForce GTX950 /

    ACER Aspire VX 15 VX5-591G-5108
    Intel Core i5-7300HQ, without SSD
    and
    ASUS N752VX-GC286T
    Intel Core i5 6300HQ Skylake, 17.3 "LED 1920x1080 IPS antireflex, RAM 8GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950mm 2GB, HDD 1TB

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